I've been trying my best lately to balance all the areas of my life. It's a real juggling act to find time for all the things I want to do. I used to wish I could focus purely on painting or art in general, but the truth is that if I only focus on one area, then the rest of the juggling balls will fall. It was a silly fantasy to think I could live some kind of hermit existence and not worry about my relationships, work, my website, replying to emails, writing in my diary, the gym and everything else that needs attentions.
I've realized that kind of lifestyle wouldn't even be enjoyable. I would be a better painter, but a lopsided person. Illustrations are enhanced by leading a well rounded life. This takes effort and there's no book that will give the answer. It's like building and maintaining a house. You must balance comfort with necessities. You need a roof, water, electricity and all that, but is the house comfortable? Would I want to live there and have people stay there? That's how I think of my life. It's beautiful when the balance is right, but really awful when areas are neglected.
As an illustrator and teacher, I know I'll have to hustle to get the lifestyle that I want. I'm fine with that because I realize the responsibility. I've been fortunate to have support from my family and friends, but the lion's share is on me. I have to deliver on my end of it or else I'll have failed those who supported me. So I also feel a pressure to be in this position. I wouldn't have it any other way.